Big news! I will have my first solo show, and it will be at the Gallery Camellia in the Okuno building in Ginza, Tokyo. The gallery opens at 1:00 every afternoon, so early birds beware. Have lunch first and then come to the gallery, please! I will try to be there every day.
This is the gallery information, and you can also find them on Facebook. The owner often posts information about current shows and other events on the Facebook page, usually in Japanese. I think she understands a bit of English and, of course, anything written will be easier to understand. She would probably love to hear from you.
You can walk from the Ginza 1-chome metro station or from the Yurakucho JR station. If you are coming from Yurakucho, It is a bit of a walk but very doable. Just head straight towards Ginza, go past the Printemps building, keep going straight past the Banana Republic on your left, and turn left when you are at the Starbucks. Go straight until you see the IDC Otsuka Kagu furniture store and the Dotour coffee shop across from the Metro station. You have the right block. Walk past the rear entrance of the furniture shop and you should see Y’s Arts, a cozy antique shop. That is the first floor of the Okuno building.
The building is filled with small galleries and other interesting shops. The letterboxes near the entrance of the building obviously have the name of the shop or owner on them but they usually also have a picture or card of current exhibitions as well as their floor and room number. All of the people that I have met there have been friendly and interesting.
The elevator itself is worth the trip. It is an old cage elevator that has been refurbished. Gallery Camellia is on the 5th floor, so you will probably want to take the elevator. The problem, however, is that you might be waiting a long time for it. Look at the brass needle above the elevator doors to see where the elevator is at that time. If the needle does not move after you have pressed the button, it means that somebody did not securely close the yellow, inner door. It is an old elevator, and the doors do not close automatically. Most of us are not used to that; we expect the doors to close behind us. If somebody has difficulty with stairs, please ask somebody to walk up to the indicated floor and close the inner door. Then the elevator should start moving. For those who do not mind a little exercise, you can check out the building as you walk up the stairs. Interesting things are everywhere!
This show will be small, since all of the galleries in the building are small. I decided to show older drawings instead of making a series of work especially for the new show. Some people might recognise one as half of a drawing in an earlier show, but the others have never been shown in Tokyo before. Also, I am working on new material but decided it was better to have a show now than to wait for the other work to be finished. Who knows when I will have to pack up and move again, right?
I decided on this gallery for several reasons. Chiaki Fujihara has a solo show as well as a group show here, so I got to know the place, the owner, and a few regular visitors. I had planned to continue looking for a gallery, but then I had a very bad experience at one place. I remembered Gallery Camellia and something that the owner had said. She mentioned that other galleries in Tokyo tend to attract only the artist’s friends and the people who regularly visit the gallery in question, but strangers who have never heard of her gallery or my work before might come by to see the work just because the Okuno building itself is an attraction. Her salesmanship and her positive attitude convinced me. Also, I like her. That is important. If I have to be there all day, every day to represent my art and answer questions, then I want to enjoy her company and the environment. I can safely say that I will love going there every day for a whole week. I love chatting with the owner and the other people who own shops in the building. I cannot wait for the show to start!
I plan to bring some tea with me, so please pop by and have a cup! If you prefer coffee, you might have to stop in at Starbucks or one of the other many cafes in Ginza. If you come later in the evening, dinner is also a possibility. Ginza has a little bit of everything, even a vampire cafe. I kid you not. Anything might happen!